This may be a digital era but that doesn’t eliminate the need for packaging. Mail order products need to be in packaging. We may buy online but we want assurance that it isn’t a “used” product and that it is from a reputable company with a return policy.

People still need to shop for products in retail stores. Along with the immediate gratification shopping provides there are items we can’t wait for or don’t want to wait for. Spring brings bright clothing warm weather outfits. Home improvements stores promote planting projects and back porch entertaining. We all want to touch and try so many of these items. So off to the store we go. Packaging continues to be a dynamic real-time sales influencer.

Product Packaging Goes Green

Walmart has pushed the “green package” trend in the US and now their reaching international markets. The main drive for retailers demand for green package design was to economize shelf space. Smaller package mean more space to stock the shelves. For some products reducing the amount of packaging used while protecting product from damage is a delicate balance. Package size factors into costs – and getting product and packaging costs to a minimum will always be a factor in selecting package solution.

Environmentally friendly is a dominant message for some brands and it needs to be a strong visual. One must remember the store environment when designing. Kraft natural paper says natural but in many stores the color fades into the surroundings. Aesthetics still needs to dominate the design initiative. You must be competitive with your visuals and message to convert a sale at the last opportunity – in store. To meet the “green” requirements being placed on manufacturers and package designers, choosing the package material becomes a factor in branding. Consumers are demanding environmentally friendly business practices, and green packaging is another viable way to do it.

Texture Impacting Brand Impression

Marketers understand the importance of strong brand impression. 63% of marketers surveyed plan to increase brand marketing budget in 2015. This effort includes investing in brand packaging. In many cases the package is the most prominent brand ambassador for the product. A growing number of companies are looking to “texture” as a tool to magnify their brand impression with their audience. Adding a bit of texture adds something unusual and unique.

Most packages are glossy paper, maybe some foil color. Texture that contrasts with the surrounding offerings provides a unique draw with the customer. Juniper Ridge, for example, recently redesigned the bottles for its “wild fragrances,” topping scent bottles with tree bark caps. The one-of-a-kind caps bring the wilderness to mind, of course, and stand out from competing brands. Engaging your passing audience with something more than visual stimulus has been proven extremely effective for branding. Paper texture has long been a go to tool for direct response experts. It makes sense to include direct response strategies in product packaging when you remember that often times purchases are impulse actions.

How is packaging changing?

Brands are getting creative with outer packaging and product appearance. Knowing your audience and distribution channels influences designers and brand managers choices of solutions. Consumers view “green” influences on packaging and marketing positively.

Learn more by downloading this epaper: 2 reasons your packaging may not be selling.